I have a bunch of classes on Craftsy, including “Show-Stopping Cheesecakes!” To find any of my classes on the platform, just type Zoe Francois in to the search bar and you will find all three of my courses.
I’ve done an “Artisan Bread in Minutes” baking class based on the Master recipe from my book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I created an intensive Baking and Pastry class for beginners, which will help you feel confident with all of your family recipes or those beautiful treats you see on Pinterest. I hope I will see you in one, or all of my Craftsy classes.
In the Craftsy studio I created a Show-Stopping Cheesecakes class. It is more than just recipes (although there are plenty of those too), it is a technique class that will give you all the skills to bake any kind of cheesecake you desire.
I cover different flavors, baking methods, pan shapes and lots of toppings and sauces. Here are just a few of the cakes I make in the video class, but I look forward to hearing what you’d come up with.
A Nutella striped cheesecake that I then top with candied hazelnuts. I’ll show you how to create the stripes and how to make the candied garnish.
Cheesecakes can be many shapes, including this chocolate bombe. We will also enrobe it in glossy ganache and create chocolate shavings to top it all off.
These bars are made of a bourbon flavored cheesecake and studded with blackberries and topped with sour cream.
This terrine shaped cheesecake is made of layers of peanut butter and raspberry preserves.
I’ll show you how to create many flavors from just a few base recipes and how to layer the flavors together.
In this post I’ve made a tangy lemon curd to add it to any cheesecake from my class or you can just spread it on your favorite toast or even a pound cake.
How to Make Lemon Curd
See how to make lemon curd below, and get the full recipe for the Lemon Curd Cheesecake at the bottom of this post!
Lemon curd is basically a custard, but instead of cream, we will use lemon juice. It is thickened with egg yolks and butter and has a velvety smooth texture and a sweet, but tangy flavor. I used Meyer lemons, since they are available right now and have a more subtle, almost perfumed flavor, just a little softer flavor than a traditional lemon.
Whisk together lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Add the butter and set over a double boiler.
Use a rubber spatula to stir the lemon curd until it starts to thicken. It should coat the spatula and cling to it before you remove it from the heat.
I used the vanilla cheesecake base from my Craftsy class, but added 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice and 1 tablespoon zest to it. I baked it in a water bath, so that we’d have a magically smooth texture and no cracking. You will find all my tricks and tips for preventing cracking in the class.
After the cheesecake is set, remove it from the oven.
Carefully spoon the warm lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake and spread it smooth, if it doesn’t spread on its own.
Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the curd is set like like jello. This may take a touch longer if the curd hadn’t been set up enough before going in the oven.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Follow all my tips for finishing the cheesecake and for removing it from the pan.
The lemon curd is a lovely addition to the creamy cheesecake and gives it a wonderful look.
It is pretty enough to serve as is, but you could also add one of the fruit sauces we make in the class as well.
- 1/2 cup lemon juice*
- 1 cup sugar use only 3/4 cup if you are making this with Meyer lemon, passion fruit or grapefruit, since they are not quite as sour as lemon or lime
- 6 egg yolks
- Pinch salt
- 1 stick 4 ounces or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- desired crust
- 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract make your own, or half a scraped vanilla bean
- pinch salt
- zest of 1/2 lemon optional
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- Make your desired crust and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed with the paddle attachment for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and mix for another 30 seconds. Add the sugar and mix for about 1 minute. Add the sour cream. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Mix for 30 seconds.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the cooled crust. Place the cheesecake in the oven on a cookie sheet that has about a 1/4-inch hot water in it. This will help the cheesecake bake evenly and have a silky texture. Bake for about an hour or until it is just set in the middle. Remove the cake from the oven, run a knife blade around the edge of the pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Dry Heat Baking (another method for baking)
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Bake cheesecake on a cookie sheet on the center rack for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300°F and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes. The cheesecake will soufflé as it bakes, which is normal for this style baking. Remove from the oven and run a knife blade around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, yolks, and salt. Add the butter and set over a double boiler.
- Use a rubber spatula to stir the lemon curd until it starts to thicken. It should coat the spatula and cling to it before you remove it from the heat.
- After the cheesecake is set, remove it from the oven. Carefully spoon the warm lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake and spread it smooth, if it doesn't spread on its own.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the curd is set like like jello. This may take a touch longer if the curd hadn't been set up enough before going in the oven.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.